WACO, TX — After a one-week break from competition following the Bear Twilight, Baylor cross country will be back in action Friday at the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station.
“I’m excited to get to race some new people,” associate head coach Jon Capron said. “The clientele will be pretty similar to the Bear Twilight with the exception of Texas. It will be nice to have some familiar faces and some new ones.”
Led by senior Lindsay Walton, the Baylor women’s team looks to build upon its successful start to the season and improve upon its No. 6 preseason regional ranking when the week one rankings come out Sept. 16.
“I’m excited to see more of my ladies be able to jump in there and race,” Capron said. “Getting a few of them back is going to be good for the pack. We had a good workout this week where they were able to work together, and I think that’s going to be pretty useful going forward to let them use each other to get where they’re supposed to be in the pack and in the race. I’m excited to see what they can do with that.”
The Baylor men’s team also looks to move forward after a strong debut at the Bear Twilight highlighted by Connor Laktasic and TJ Sugg.
“The guys are going to be pretty similar,” Capron said. “Two guys came up sick this week so we’ll be down a little from last time. We’re just waiting to get them back. I’m excited about their race because it’s a full 8K, and that suits us more right now. Even though for some of the younger guys it will be pretty far and a little daunting, it suits most of our guys better than a quick 6K right now.”
Competing against the Bears at Watts Cross Country Course will be host Texas A&M, SMU (women’s team), TCU, UTRGV, UTSA and West Texas A&M.
“The course is good and fair,” Capron said. “It’s pretty flat, so they should be able to go pretty quick as long as it doesn’t heat up too much. I’m excited to see some regional competitors that we’ll see most of this year. It’s going to be fun to see where we’re at right now and be able to compare throughout the season.
“It’s a good starting point. Even though it’s not our first race, it’s our first true distance. The girls will go 6K and the guys will go 8K. I’m excited to see where we’re at right there and see what work we have to do to get where we need to be.”
Friday will be the only time Baylor competes in September, with the next meet taking place Oct. 5 at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.
“We’re mostly aiming towards November, but if we can see how close we can get to the front of this pack, that’s where I want to be,” Capron said. “I don’t know where these teams’ full squads are. Everybody’s kind of feeling each other out. If we’re going to assume we can run pretty close to the front, then we need to do it from the gates. If we can get close this Friday, then it’s not hard to extrapolate that we can be ahead of them by the end of the year.”
For updates on Baylor cross country throughout the season, follow @BaylorTrack on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.